Craven Thoughts

“Even through the darkest phase
Be it thick or thin
Always someone marches brave
Here beneath my skin”

For as long as I can remember, I have always been hungry. Or at least thought I was. I’ve spent the best part of the past 40 years, constantly riding the blood-sugar rollercoaster that had me feeling a real need to keep on consuming, despite my body being anything but actually hungry. But that all changed on 31st August 2020, when I switched over to a low-carb diet. No longer at the mercy of a lifetime spent trying to satiate an addiction to the chronic overconsumption of carbohydrates, I learned for the first time what real hunger felt like and have been able to drop a considerable amount of weight as a result. But even when keeping to a maximum of 20g of carbohydrates a day, I still get plagued by the occasional desire to eat something sugary. Something wickedly and deliciously decadent – chocolate!

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think of myself as an emotional eater and for the most part I still believe that. But I’m beginning to come around to the idea that there is a slight aspect of emotion involved in my own relationship with food, even if it’s not what most of us associate with ’emotional eating’. I’ve never used food as a form of comfort, to cope when I’m sad or angry or scared. I’m not completely joking when I say that the size of arse is a testament to how happy I’ve been throughout most of my life; because when I am sad or upset, I lose my appetite. (Probably could’ve done with being a bit more miserable in my former years, considering how massively overweight I managed to get, lol.)

But ever since I began this switch over to eating a low-carb diet for health and weight loss, I’ve had to confront moments when I’ve found myself wanting to eat, when upon further consideration I realise that I’m not actually hungry. Not physically anyway. It’s not me wanting to eat because I’m bored – largely because I’m just not the sort of person who gets bored. Even during this long, frustrating lockdown nonsense, my days are filled with things to do; in fact somehow, even with all this extra time on my hands, I’m still left feeling sometimes that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. So it’s not that.

And of course it’s not even real hunger, because I’ve definitely learned the difference between genuine hunger and something else. It’s really more of a craving. Not in the:

“Omigod I can’t stop thinking about Dairy Milk bars! If I don’t get to eat one then I’ll go mad!”

It’s more of a knowing what I’m “missing out” on and just wanting to experience that taste sensation again. Do you know what I mean? It’s not that I don’t enjoy the food I’m eating, because I love it. I’m not starving myself or letting myself go hungry, and I’m not allowing myself to become nutritionally deficient. I just sometimes really miss how certain sweet things taste. It’s kinda similar to how I feel about certain perfumes. I’m really scent-oriented and I’m never not wearing some kind of fragrance. Some scents really resonate with me, to the point where I bulk-buy them and store them in one of my refrigerators to preserve them as best I can, just in case they get discontinued. So many perfumes I’ve loved over the years have have been discontinued and I really miss them. I hunt down old stock, or people offering sample sized vials, just to try and keep them in my life for as long as I can, because sometimes I just really want to smell a particular fragrance.

And that’s the best way I can describe how I feel about wanting to experience certain tastes too. It’s like a kind of nostalgia, but it has nothing to do with wanting to recapture some lost happiness of times gone by; one of my favourite perfumes of all time is one I was wearing during a time when I was working a job I hated and just coming to the realisation that I wasn’t happy with the relationship I was in. If anything that fragrance evokes more negative memories than anything, but it just smells SO freaking good! I actually crave wanting to smell it and when I dab a couple of drops onto the inside of my wrist, I’ll sit there sniffing at it repeatedly, just losing myself in all the composite notes emanating from my skin.

I enjoy fragrances. I enjoy luxuriating in a halo of decadent sillage, just for the sake of it. It’s not because I’m sad and want to feel happy. It’s not because I’m bored. I just want to smell a certain scent, because I like doing it. And it’s a harmless enough thing to enjoy. I can afford to splurge on these little luxuries and it’s not as if I have any other vices these days. (It also makes me a really easy person to buy gifts for, lol. If you want to buy me anything and you settle on one of my favourite fragrances, it shows you know me. I could have 4 other bottles of the same stuff, already stashed away in the fridge, but if I open a gift to find another bottle of it inside, you’ll have made me a very happy woman!)

Taking my love of perfume as an example of how I sometimes just crave a certain stimulus to one of my senses, is probably the best way to describe to you how I feel about having the occasional craving for another one of my senses to be stimulated. But when we start talking about food cravings, suddenly things start to sound much less innocent, as we try to intuit the more sinister root of such a terrible, negative desire.

“You must be deficient in some nutrient!”

“It’s probably your body trying to tell you to eat more!”

“I bet you’ve been getting lazy and you’ve let sugar back into your diet!

“Maybe you’re stressed out – have you tried mindfulness techniques?”

“Are you bored? Perhaps you need to think about finding a new hobby!”

Urgh. Like, I get that y’all are trying to be helpful, but could you at least try to be original? Lol. Is there any chance that this might just be an entirely benign desire to just want to revisit and reexperience a familiar sensory experience? I know, I know, they’re the exact same things that I’d probably suggest myself if someone came to me and told me that they were experiencing cravings for something sweet. But I’ve already worked my way through those considerations on my own time and I’ve even tried eliminating certain foods here and there to see if anything was causing these sensory triggers. I haven’t spoken about it in here before, but I’ve tried cutting out the low-carb friendly protein bars for a fortnight and even went 10 days just eating a carnivore style diet. Not to try and lose any more weight quicker than I already am doing, but because I was curious to see if doing either things would stop me from having those occasional moments where I just fancied a taste of something sweet.

Spoiler alert: neither methods did the trick. And like I said before, these aren’t intense cravings that burn inside me like the faux-hunger of old; it’s just like the thing I have with certain fragrances: I simply want to experience the taste again. It makes me wonder though if this is to do with an underlying addiction to sugar that will take a lifetime of discipline to perpetually steel myself against. On the one hand I think it’s not because isn’t an issue whereby my every waking thought is consumed by the desire to “relapse”; but on the other hand I think back to conversations I’ve had with heroin addicts who got clean, but said they always had to remain vigilant against the little head-games the addicted part of their brains would play with them, making them think every now and then, that they’d really like to just experience that feeling of the gear rushing through their veins again. Just one more time. But they know that they can never have “just one more” hit, because they’d end up right back where they were all those months or years ago, spending their entire lives scurrying around trying to score and worrying how they’d be able to pay for it.

Is that what my cravings are? The mind of an addict trying every little trick in the book to get me to give it “just one more” hit of the sweet stuff? Or is it more like my perfume penchant, proclivity or predilection? Nothing more than an innocent fancy that crosses my mind from time to time? Obviously the 2 situations aren’t entirely similar – as far as I know, I’m not causing myself any lasting physical harm by indulging my love of fragrance, whereas I know that sugar is genuinely bad for my physical and mental health. But the way the brain processes the detection of scent (olfaction) and flavour (gustation) are closely linked. Just as hearing is the perception of sound and sight is the perception of light, smell and taste are our perceptions of tiny molecules in the air and in food. Taste and smell information appear to converge in several central brain regions (we’ve all noticed the relationship between taste and smell when a cold or flu stuffs up our noses and everything tastes bland) but there are also neurons in the inferior frontal lobe that respond selectively to specific taste and smell combinations.

So I could easily just write off these occasional niggles of gustatory desire, as being no different to the olfactory cravings that I’m always more than happy in indulge. But that doesn’t mean I can just give in to those urges and eat a boatload of sugar because I want to experience the taste again “just one more” time. Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t my way of trying to rationalise the choice to eat off plan – far from it – I’m really just trying to understand the whys and wherefores behind these feelings that crop up from time to time. It’s weird because it’s not like I have cravings for all things carb-laden, it’s really just a couple of very specific items. I don’t think about pizza, or potatoes or pasta or most of the food I used to eat. It’s not even just chocolate as a whole.

Believe me when I tell you that I used to eat chocolate every single day, and I enjoyed every variety and brand out there. Nestle, Lindt, Green & Blacks, Thornton’s, Mars, Rowntree’s, Marks & Spencer’s…I even had a monthly subscription to the ‘Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club’ (which the other half and I used to enjoy working our way though while having one of our film nights on the sofa). And I loved them all. But the only one that seems to plague me now, is Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Not Galaxy, not Yorkie, not Marks & Spencer’s Single Origin Dominican Republic 32% Cocoa Milk Chocolate With Salted Butterscotch & Maple Syrup (yeah, it tastes as epic as it sounds, lol)…but Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

I’ve tried to think back over my childhood, to see if perhaps that was the particular treat of choice that I now associate with such pleasure. Or even if maybe it was a treat that was withheld for one reason or another. But there’s nothing that I can think of. I was an ‘equal-opportunities chocolate botherer’ all throughout my childhood, youth and into adulthood, yet it’s only that purple-packaged bar of chocolatey loveliness that seems to stir my senses. The other half was eating a Wispa bar the other day (which are basically just a bar of aerated Dairy Milk with some tiny bubbles in it – same taste, just a different texture) and I made him let me smell it, before he polished it off, lol. It smelled just like I remember and whilst for many, allowing their ultimate craving to get so close to their mouth might be a very dangerous game, it did feel good to inhale that familiar aroma. I think smelling it also might have helped to alleviate the craving somewhat; which kinda makes sense given what I mentioned earlier about the connection between gustation and olfaction.

But I didn’t eat any of it. To bastardise a famous idiom from the bible (Matthew 26:41) “My flesh may be strong, but my spirit is a little weak.” I may wish to indulge, but my resolve remains strong; craven thoughts be damned. I know some people reading this are probably thinking I should just eat the fricking chocolate and get over it, but I’m not in the right place to start introducing the odd sugary treat, just yet. Maybe one day I will, but for now I’m just going to keep on sticking to my plan and refrain from doing anything other than sniffing the other half’s Dairy Milk from time to time! I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t just about weight loss, it’s also about overall health. And sugar is one of the most unhealthy things I could choose to consume with abandon.

I think it was Shakespeare who was first quoted as saying that: “Quod me alit, me extinguit.” I’d like to get that tattooed on myself somewhere one day; a permanent reminder of why I stay the path of continuing to follow a low-carb way of life. Then any time of one of these little cravings – however benign – starts to creep in at the edges of my consciousness, I could look at it and just wait for the feelings to pass. Right now though, I’ve got a serious urge to go eat some bacon, eggs and a fried mushroom…and I have no intention of ignoring that craving whatsoever. I know this whole post has just been a jumble of thoughts, but that’s what’s been going through my head these past couple of days (I don’t think the current glut of Easter Egg adverts are really helping the matter, lol) so I figured I’d share them here. I hope at least some of it will resonate with a few of you out there.

Have a lovely Easter folks

Blue

Self Talk

They think that I’m crazy
They say I’m strange
‘Cause my attitude
Has taken a change

I’m not the kind of person who responds well to fluffy, gentle, soppy comments or words of encouragement – even if they come from a place of genuine care and concern. I hate being patronised and even if it isn’t meant that way, someone coming at me with a bunch of purple-prosed love-bombing, immediately makes me want to kind of vomit. I don’t want to be patted on the head for doing something good, nor do I need anyone to sympathise with me if I fuck up. It feels condescending and – newsflash – I’m actually a big girl who doesn’t need to be molly-coddled by anyone. No, I like “real talk”. Give it to me straight or GTFO.

And that way of thinking is just as direct when it comes to how I talk to myself. I mean, not talk “to” myself like some crazy lady on the bus who no one wants to sit next to (okay, so I do sometimes do that too, but that’s not what I’m getting at here), rather the tone in which I engage in “self-talk”. I talk to myself in ways which some therapists would probably find a bit severe and likely would try to psychoanalyse as being the by-product of some deep-rooted self-hatred. But trust me boo, I know me better than anyone else and trust me when I tell you that this bitch don’t respond well to anything less than a firm hand and the occasional kick up the arse.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m negative or down on myself. I mean, let’s be real, I’m pretty fucking awesome and even on my worst days I know I’m infinitely superior to all other beings in the known universe (note: I said “known” universe there…even I’M not arrogant enough to think I’m better than ALL potential sentient beings…gotta have at least a bit of humility, right?) so I’m not in the habit of being hyper-critical. But anytime I find myself veering off towards making a bad decision or going against what I know to be stupid, you can bet your life that my inner voice pipes up with an internal:

“What the fuck are you doing?”

or

“Why would you even think that’s a good idea??”

or

“Are you frickin mental? Sort your shit out Blue. Enough of this bullshit!”

And it’s usually enough to get me to take a step back and reassess whatever stupid shit it is that I’m about to embark upon. That doesn’t mean I don’t DO stupid shit – far from it. In fact some of my best memories come from doing the stupidest shit possible; often at the most inappropriate of times. But I’ve done all that stuff with the full presence of mind that it was probably an incredibly dumb thing to do…I just ended up deciding in the moment that the plusses outweighed the negatives and “to hell with the consequences”.

Which is probably why I ended up letting myself get to the size I was back in August of this year. It’s not that I was just naively plodding along, getting fat behind my own back – I KNEW that I was eating badly and making myself unhealthier with every sugar-saturated snack I scarfed down – but I was actively choosing to make those bad choices because there really didn’t seem to be any immediate, short-term consequences affecting me. I was telling myself “to hell with the consequences” on a daily basis. And it wasn’t until the fibromyalgia & arthritis kicked it, that I really started to feel the physical effects of all those bad decisions. When that shit started to go south, it was time to sit down and have some serious conversations with myself about what I was going to do about it.

“Ya gotta sort this crap out, Blue. Stop messing around and playing fast & loose with your health. You’re way too fat and it’s time you did something about it.”

Now I’d messed around with the idea of losing weight before, but the motivation was never really there. It was always just a vague, nebulous notion of being a bit thinner, but my life was too good for there to be anything truly impactful to give me the impetus to make any changes for good. So I’d maybe make a slight effort for a while, lose a bit, then when I got bored I’d just abandon the idea entirely. And why not? It’s not like there were any tangible ramifications to my actions that were spurring me on to stay the course. So my “self-talk” at the time was more like:

“Fuck it. It’s not like your life is going to be any different if you lose a bunch of weight. Why bother? Life’s too short!”

or

“You’re just a big girl Blue. Always have been, always will be.”

and

“You have a gorgeous boyfriend, a great job, loads of friends – what difference would being thinner make? Nah, you CAN have your cake and eat it!”

And eat the cake I did. I ate ALL of the cakes. And they were bloody good cakes too (life’s too short for “sad” cakes – that much I still stand by). But the time came when the love of cake got in the way of my being able to live the rest of my life properly. And so I decided to make some changes to my eating habits.

I already knew a lot about the low-carb WOE, T2DA, hyperinsulinaemia and the problems that a carb-heavy ‘Standard American Diet’ caused. For the past 20 years I’d been keeping up with all the studies and new information available about Atkins, The South Beach Diet, paleo, keto and carnivore – maybe deep down I knew that I was going to put all that research to good use one day – so I was already intellectually prepared for the change over to a low-carb WOE; but in order to succeed on this new way of life, I still needed to make the necessary changes to my mindset.

I couldn’t really call myself a serial failed dieter…because in order to fail, I would first have needed to actually try. And if I’m being at all honest with myself, I really didn’t make any effort to try during those prior proto-forays into the world of weight-loss. I didn’t care about the outcome, so I never sat down and thought about the process of goal-setting, with a view to losing a certain, desirable amount of weight. This time was different though. I had a very real desire to set and achieve a definitive goal, with some very real reasoning to motivate me to want to do it. Cue my newly focused “self-talk”.

Some people say that it’s a really bad idea to have an “all-or-nothing” approach to eating habits when trying to lose weight. You’ll hear talk of the “80/20” rule where you eat on plan for 80% of the time and then get to eat off-plan for 20% of the time. Which probably sounds fairly sensible if you’re just doing CICO. But eating low-carb is different. If you eat off-plan, you take yourself out of ketosis, make your body change over to glycolysis, your pancreas has to suddenly start kicking out huge amounts of insulin again, your inflammation levels ramp up and then you have to go back through the keto-flu misery when you finally decide to get back on-plan and have to force your body back into ketosis again. Never mind how horrible it probably feels to have to endure the sugar-hangover and subsequent keto-flu; that really can’t be a very healthy process to regularly put your body through. Sure our bodies evolved to be primarily ketogenic with the ability to eat berries and some vegetation when animal food sources weren’t readily available; but our bodies were never designed to deal with insanely high amounts of processed sugars that most of us eat on a daily basis.

I don’t want to come across as some kind of newly converted keto-evangelist, because lord knows I’ve put my own poor body through the wringer over the past 40 years. But it just seems really counter-intuitive to go to all the effort of ridding one’s system of all that sugar and become keto-adapted, if you’re going to keep regularly returning to that previous way of eating, under the premise of being “sensible” and following an 80/20 rule. If you’re willingly regressing back into old eating habits on a regular basis, then you’re not doing this for health or for the long-term benefits to your body; you’re really only concerned about the weight-loss aspect of it. And that’s not what I’m trying to achieve with this new way of eating.

I need this to work, because I need to fix my health problems. Sugar is a problem for me. It’s not only something that I believe I became addicted to, it exacerbates my fibromyalgia and my psoriatic arthritis. It triggers inflammation in my body, causes lethargy, plays havoc with my skin and contributes to brain fog. Having eradicated it from my diet has shown me just how much better I can – and do – feel, now that I no longer consume it. So why would I want to add it back into my diet again – even if only for a day or so – when I know how badly it effects my health? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Which is where my specific mindset or approach to all this comes in. When I first started out on this new low-carb WOE, I just sort of assumed that like many others, I would have “cheat days” where I actively made the decision to eat lots of “carbage” again. Because that’s what everyone else does, right? But I also wanted to make sure that I took at least a couple of months to really get myself properly settled into eating low-carb before I allowed myself a day off.

“Give it 2 months, then when you know what you’re doing and you’ve lost a bit of weight, you can have a day off – but not before then.”

So I went about eating this way, started seeing some results and also began feeling a lot better. The craving for sweet-stuff largely abated and it stopped feeling as though I was depriving myself of anything important. I still cooked pasta, potatoes, rice and bread for the other half, and whilst I won’t deny how great some of that stuff smelled (freshy basked bread especially!) there never came a moment when I thought I wanted to actually eat any of it. Not even when I ordered a take-away pizza for the man himself! I’d simply told myself:

“I just don’t eat that stuff.”

Much in the same way I tell people that I just don’t drink alcohol, any time they offer me a boozy beverage. It’s not that I’ve never drunk alcohol, I simply choose not to any more; because it makes me feel like shit the next day (and the hangovers have gotten so much worse with every passing birthday). So when the first couple of months of eating low-carb were under my belt, I had a little chat with myself about possibly wanting to have a “cheat day”.

“So, are you going to have a blow-out then?”

“Do you really need to eat something sugary?”

“Is this what you really want?”

“How are you going to feel afterwards?”

“Is it really worth it?”

And when I sat and thought about it, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t really want any of it. It really wasn’t worth it. I went through a weird little process where I tried to remember how I felt eating various food items in the past, and then I interrogated those memories to try and figure out how important it was for me to taste those foods again. It was actually quite difficult to conjure up any other associations with with sugar, other than:

“It tasted really nice!”

Which wasn’t really all that good of a reason to start putting the stuff back into my body again. So I decided not to. And I then decided that I wasn’t going to go off-plan at all over the Christmas period too; because what’s the point? A few moments of brief enjoyment, followed by potential feelings of guilt for having let myself down and then the inevitable carb-hangover? It just didn’t seem worth all the hassle.

“You don’t need that shit, Blue.”

“Why poison your body all over again, when you’ve gone to all this effort to get it out of your system?”

“Why would you want to go and make yourself feel like crap again?”

“Only a total fucking dick would go and start eating sugar again. Don’t. Be. A. Dick!”

And with that I just kind of decided that I didn’t want to feel like shit anymore. I wanted to feel good. I wanted to feel healthy again. And I wanted that way more than I wanted ANY slice of cake. It felt like I’d flipped a switch over in my brain as I just kind of let go of the notion that I needed or wanted to eat that way again.

“You’re so much better than that that, Blue. You don’t need any of that crap.”

“Bollocks to cheat days – they’re for the weak!”

“You’re fucking ABOVE that shit!”

(Did I mention that my inner-self also cusses like a sailor? Because that bitch has got a real mouth on her – probably should’ve warned y’all about her earlier, hmm? Yeah…my bad.)

I know that some people will be reading this thinking that I’m full of hubris and setting myself up for a major fall. And maybe they’re right. But maybe they’re just judging my ability to stay committed to this way of eating/way of life, based on their own ability – or inability – to do so themselves. Maybe I’ll stay committed to this choice, because I have so much at stake health-wise. Or maybe I just want it more.

All I know is, eating this way makes me feel good. And deep down inside myself I actually believe that I can stay committed to eating this way for the long haul. Because despite all my jokes and wise-cracks about cake, I really don’t feel as though I’m actually missing out on anything by not eating sugar. Yes that might change and yes I don’t know for sure how I’m going to think or feel 3 months, 6 months or a year or so down the line. But I know how stubborn I am and I know that when I’m determined to do something, I just fucking do it. And I know that the little voice that speaks to me inside my head believes I can do this too.

“You got this, Blue. And you damn well know it.”

Course I do. I’m fucking invincible.

Make good choices folks.

Be invincible.

Blue

What…Already? / Weigh-In Day

I appear to have forgotten what day it is again. Or at the very least, what time of the month it is, because guess who’s in town again? Yup, “Aunt Flo” is here again, but for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I forgot that my period was even due. Yes, me, the planner-obsessed, forward-thinking lunatic that I am, forgot that my period was on the way. Like…um…WTF?

If you remember last month’s “visitation”, I was preparing for it about a fortnight in advance; then I had lots of lovely PMS symptoms for about 5 days before the “red peril” was actually upon me and it was right at the forefront of my mind for a good couple of weeks before it actually arrived. So what went a bit awry this time? Well…I think it must have something to do with me having been eating strictly low-carb for the past couple of months. Because for the first time in forever, I didn’t have any hideous PMS symptoms!

No change in mood, no swollen boobs, no sweet cravings…nothing. Then this morning I woke up to find that mother nature had visited her “curse” upon me. Surprised was not the word. I had to check my calendar and journal to make sure that I wasn’t going losing the plot, or that my body hadn’t just gone mad and decided to bestow an early “visitation” upon me. But when I checked the dates, it was indeed correct. I’d just neglected to remember that it was due at all. And that really weirded me out.

Okay, so a bit of back-story for y’all: I’ve been sterilised since I was 29. I never wanted children and didn’t want to have to worry about getting accidentally pregnant. It’s a decision I’ve not only never regretted, but have been amazingly grateful for, ever since my doc gave me the go-ahead to have the procedure. The only downside to it was that a month after the sterilisation I came off of birth control pills, which I’d been taking since I was 16. I thought that would be a good thing – not having fake hormones flooding through my body all the time – but what happened afterwards was a bit of a shock. As my periods came back, they got progressively heavier, longer and more painful with each month. Not just a “normal” heavy, but an “up to 10 days long and sore enough to take my legs out from under me”, heavy.

After visiting my doctor he came to the conclusion that I had endometriosis, but it had been kept from presenting itself over the 13 years I’d been taking birth-control pills. When I got sterilised and came off the birth-control, my body started to recalibrate itself and no longer had anything preventing those really heavy, long, painful periods from arriving every month. (My sister has had it for years too, so it’s entirely likely that I would also have it.) I’ve since had diagnoses of fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis – both disorders connected to inflammation (along with a boatload of other causes/effects) – and it’s not unusual to find that women who suffer with Fibro and/or PA, also suffer with endometriosis.

So why am I telling you all this gross information? Well…I might be jumping the gun here, but I’m beginning to think that my eating low-carb might actually be helping to reduce a lot of my symptoms and associated problems with endometriosis. I’ve been prescribed Mefanemic Acid for years now. I’m supposed to take them on the first day of my period to shorten their duration and reduce their overall impact. They’re a strong anti-inflammatory (so strong that I also have to take Losec capsules with them too, because they have a tendency to make me throw up) which also help with the pain. Sometimes I try to avoid taking them for as long as I can, because of both how strong they are and how inconvenient the side-effects are. But I always inevitably end up having to take them at some point, because my iron levels can only plummet so low before I end up being admitted to hospital!

So, yeah. Periods are usually a little bit more than a minor irritation round here. I say usually though, because this month has been a totally different experience. Like I already said, I had no PMS symptoms beforehand – which is something that hasn’t happened since I was on birth-control pills. Today my boobs are a little bit sore and I feel a bit bloated, but nowhere near what I’m used to. I just weighed myself and the scale reads 17 stone exactly, so I’ve “gained” 2lbs over the past couple of days, but I’m literally just writing that off as hormonal water-weight, because – as always – I’ve remained 100% on-plan. When you never cheat, it’s a lot easier to see these temporary blips on the scale as just that: a blip; nothing to get stressed out about.

Without going into too much gross detail (yeah…probably a bit late to be concerned about that, huh?) I haven’t had the same level of heaviness that normally hits on day 1 of my TOM. I’ve had a couple of abdominal twinges, but not the “normal” debilitating pains that leave me winded. And I have zero cravings for chocolate (which, if you’ve been following this blog from its inception, you’ll know is a miracle unto itself, lol). Everything about it is just so different and the only thing I’ve been doing differently with my life, is following a low-carb WOE. When I got my period last month I hadn’t been eating low-carb for very long, but I still noticed the absence of intense cravings. This time around, I’ve been eating this way for much longer so I guess the effects are more noticeable?

Obviously, this is still early days, so everything is just a bit of a guess, as to the long-term benefits of eating this way. Endometriosis is always exacerbated by being overweight, so it could just mean that by shifting some flab, I’ve helped to make my periods less insane. But I’m still hugely overweight and I’m only a couple of stone lighter than when I started. That doesn’t seem like enough to be impacting my periods alone. No, I’m more inclined to believe that it’s what I AM and am NOT eating now, that is effecting my overall health – my monthly cycle just being one of the things benefitting from my cutting out sugar from my diet.

I could be wrong (it DOES happen at least once a year, lol) but I know for certain that eating this way is better for me. Even if the scale doesn’t move (or if it goes up 2lb like it has there today) I’m still making healthy choices and staying committed to a better way of eating, for a better way of life. I’ve got a long way to go on my weight-loss journey and will have many more of mother nature’s little “visitations” to deal with (before the menopause comes along with a whole ‘nuther boatload of subsequent challenges for me – yay for being female, lol) so it’s anybody’s guess how things are going to play out month-by-month going forward. Right now there just isn’t enough evidence available to conclude one way or the other, what has caused this month to be so different, but it sure is interesting.

So, on that note I will end this weird, rambling post for today. Bodies are weird. Wonderful, but weird. Implementing changes doesn’t always just affect the one thing we might be hoping to target. Sometimes it’ll throw up something you can’t believe is connected to your goal and other times it’ll surprise you with some added bonus that helps brighten your day. If the past day or so has taught me anything, it is to be prepared for those added bonuses.

Any maybe to pay attention to the calendar.

Blue